From our CEO…
We’ve had a productive first six months with our team, Board and Board committees now fully established, our bid partners signed on and our inaugural portfolio of 22 Foundation Projects all contracted and underway. The next phase of our new organisation’s development includes building systems to support the deeper planning and delivery of globally significant initiatives over the next 3-5 years, to both inform and create space, for positive change.
Timing is always critical in any story of change. Over the past 12 months a number of significant global drivers have emerged that point to the critical need for the resources sector to deliver social value and respond to changing futures over the coming decades. Mine closure is central to these changes. Australia is ideally positioned to become a world leader in the way we plan for, manage and deliver mine closure. Central to successful mine closure is increasing certainty and building a value proposition that supports the relinquishment of assets and creation of post mine opportunity.
Ensuring we have the supply chains and a workforce that can respond to industry needs and growing future demand for mine closure related skills and services is essential to the success of our sector. It was encouraging to see the recently released National Resources Workforce Strategy recognise the diversity of career opportunities throughout the resources project lifecycle, including decommissioning and rehabilitation.
Our partners are clearly preparing for the change in workforce needs and I would like to congratulate Curtin University, the University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia for being named in the top 10 QS World University Ranking for mineral & mining engineering courses.
CRC TiME’s unique partnerships provide us with a collaborative framework to make real progress in this complex and challenging space. We thank you for your input to date and look forward to working with you during this next phase in CRC TiME’s development.
Dr Guy Boggs
CRC TiME will have a strong presence at this years Life of Mine Conference 2021 in Brisbane and virtually from 28-30 April. Our CEO, Dr Guy Boggs, is chairing a Q&A session on Day 2 with a fabulous and diverse panel of stakeholders from the mine closure space. We also have a number of our Project Leaders presenting throughout the conference. If you haven’t yet registered, it’s not too late. Click here for the full program and registration.
One of CRC TiME’s foundational projects, Project 4.4, is designing a search engine allowing users to access resources for mine closure and relinquishment, including key reports and outputs from the CRC, through the CRC TiME website. An important part of designing this search tool is understanding the needs, preferences and expectations of people likely to use the CRC TiME e-library. We are asking all those interested in mine closure tools and research, to complete a quick survey to aid in the design of the e-library search engine. The survey should take about 5 minutes to complete and is accessed through the following link: https://murdochuni.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_556TOi8SXnthLcW
Renae Desai, Project Leader
Project 1.1 Cumulative Regional Impact Assessment
Our Towards a Framework for Cumulative Regional Impact Assessments project within the Regional Economic Development Program is well underway with a team meeting mid-February 2021 generating rich discussion. The team comprises multiple experts across mining companies, consultancies, government agencies and researchers who are working collaboratively on a framework for undertaking social, environmental, economic and cultural impact assessments on mine closure at a regional level. Partner Donna Pershke (Pershke Consulting) presented on cumulative assessment work completed in the goldfields, demonstrating some great progress already occurring in this space with benefits for mining regions post mine closure.The team welcomed newly appointed Research Associate, Dr Lian Sinclair who is based through partner organisation, Murdoch University. Lian has a background in political economy and ethnography with a focus on mining in Indonesia and brings a wealth of relevant experience and skillsets to the project. Lian is working closely with the discipline leads to commence drafting of the literature review and prepare for the stakeholder interviews scheduled to occur next quarter.
Dr Renee Young, Project Leader
Project 2.1 Understanding Stakeholder Values
To understand what matters to different stakeholders after mine closure, we need to focus on their values. Values is a vast area of research that spans diverse industries, disciplines and contexts, however, relatively little is known about the role of values in transitioning to post-mining economies. For this reason, the Understanding Stakeholder Values in Post-Mining Economies project places a considerable emphasis on adapting what is known about values to the particular focus of CRC TiME.
Since commencing the project, the project team have focused on reviewing existing literature, taking careful note of the practical applicability of existing knowledge. Some values can be expressed in a common format (eg. dollars) while other values are immeasurable (eg. attachment to place or connection to country). It is therefore important to think carefully about how we reconcile differences in values, from conflict to consensus or from trade-offs to win-wins. The ability to understand and reconcile value differences is essential to successful transformations in mining economies and the process of reconciling values is a catalyst for achieving desired outcomes.
Following the literature review, CRC partners will be invited to take part in a series of interviews and workshops to better understand the range of values that play a role in the transition to post-mining economies. The insights from this research will help prioritise further work within the CRC and beyond.
Dr Tom Measham, Project Leader
Project 3.4 Returning Ecosystem Resilience
Returning ecosystem resilience is something that rolls off the tongue, seems like a reasonable outcome in a post mining landscape, but is often difficult to clearly articulate let alone demonstrate. Within the Operational Solutions Program, the Returning Ecosystem Resilience project aims to effectively organise the CRC’s knowledge base, present research opportunities and highlight the CRC’s collective capabilities to address key industry requirements in this space. To date, the steering group that comprises 13 industry partners, has developed a blueprint for the project, and outlined a strategy to begin mapping industry, government and researcher landscapes. We anticipate reaching out to broader industry partners in the coming month using a combination of targeted workshops and surveys, followed by national researcher engagement before bringing everyone together to collate the research path for the CRC in returning ecosystem resilience.
Dr Jason Stevens, Project Leader
Our strategy of establishing ‘hubs’ in strategic regions around Australia provides a focus for testing research and a forum for communities of stakeholders to work together on delivering social and economic outcomes. Dr Emma Yuen, CRC TiME’s Impact and Translation Lead, is leading the development of these hubs that are a key bridge between the research community and our partners.
The first hub meeting will occur later this month in the Pilbara, with a further four hubs launching over the course of the year in South Western WA, Northern Territory, Bowen Basin, Qld and Latrobe Valley, Victoria. They represent a fantastic opportunity for stakeholders to discuss and participate in research projects, share information on mine closure and create a community of practice.
If you are in one of these 5 areas and would like to get involved please contact Emma at email@example.com.
New CRC TiME partners
Welcome aboard to our newest partners. We look forward to working with them on our projects.
Ngadju Conservation Aboriginal Corporation has joined CRC TiME to ensure Indigenous voices and specifically Ngadju voices are heard when it comes to the framing of legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines for mining activities in Australia and the Ngadju determination area. Mining and associated industries have impacted Ngadju country for over 120 years. The Ngadju people’s country and cultural sites have been destroyed or severely degraded by mining activities. There is no recorded rehabilitation of mining sites in Ngadju country. Ngadju people require agency in the national debate and discourse on mine closure, rehabilitation and post mining futures so that Ngadju and their country has a sustainable future – for people, for country.
Eco Logical Australia are an environmental consultancy. ELA’s Tetra Tech mine closure business aims to be a global leader in the mine closure space. Being at the forefront of research and development is paramount in achieving that goal. Joining CRC TiME presents a perfect opportunity to conduct research with Tier 1 operators, world leading METS suppliers, high profile government agencies and the nations best academia, building ELA’s knowledge base and skill set and trust between mining companies, regulators and communities.
The University of Reading (UK), through Prof. Mark Tibbett, was actively involved in the CRC throughout the bid development. Mark is founder and co-chair of the Mine Closure conference and maintains active research projects in Australia working on mine site rehabilitation and particularly plant-soil-microbe interactions and plant nutrition, with a long history working with CRC TiME partners Alcoa and UWA, among others. This will provide a valuable connection and expertise for CRC TiME.
We are currently advertising for a substantive Research Director with applications closing 11pm AEST on 21 March, 2021. The role is open to both national and international candidates with more details available here.Our interim Research Director, Dr Anna Littleboy, will finish her secondment from the University of Queensland to CRC TiME in June 2021. Anna played a leading role in the Bid development and we are most fortunate to have secured Anna’s services for the development phase of the CRC. We are incredibly grateful she delayed her plans to reduce work commitments, and will remain in the post to ensure a smooth transition for the incoming Research Director.
We have commenced an HDR (Higher Degree by Research) scheme which offers scholarships of up to 3.5 years duration to eligible students who participate in CRC TiME Research Programs. Currently the scholarships are awarded for PhD or equivalent doctoral studies. Top up scholarships are available to scholarship holders or full scholarships can be developed as part of the project development process describe above. This HDR scheme forms part of the CRCs broader program of education and training which will deliver on our commitment to developing industry leaders, providing a skilled workforce and ensuring the community is informed. This is critical in achieving our vision for transforming mining economies and creating post mine opportunity.
Foundation Projects Underway
Multiple projects under five key programs